In November 2017, NeighborWorks Umpqua (NWU) was awarded a $200,000 grant from the Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF), a Minnesota nonprofit corporation. The grant will be wholly devoted to supporting and continuing NWU’s comprehensive food systems work in the South Coast regions of Oregon for both seafood and cranberry producers. With the funds from this grant, NWU will increase their staff capacity and will generate greater impact in these two coastal industries. The exhaustively researched project will utilize the Wealth Works framework and invest heavily in developing and improving the outcomes from the local seafood and cranberry producers.


“This is an exciting development for our work on the coast for a number of reasons,” explained Michelle Martin, NeighborWorks Umpqua Director of Community and Economic Development. “First, the award will afford NeighborWorks Umpqua an unprecedented opportunity at improving upward mobility for these industries by connecting these industry workers with our financial and professional development experts. Second, it will allow us to support our important food systems work without diverting monies from our other deserving projects throughout Southwest Oregon. As a rural nonprofit with a five-county service radius, we have to make every dollar stretch to ensure we deliver maximum impact throughout the year.“


The grant from NWAF will fund the NWU Wealth Creation project for two years and includes the creation of at least two new jobs and an additional AmeriCorp Vista position. NWU is looking for any interested Oregon food systems professional who would be interested in joining this ambitious project for the next two years. For a more detailed listing of the qualifications and to apply, please visit or call 541-673-4909.